By Charlie Glazier
Recently, there has been a lot speculation over Color Day due to the contrasting opinions on tagging and paint being brought to school. Every year, the day before homecoming, students dress in their assigned class color to show their school spirit and represent their grade. The threat of canceling, due to concern from administration over the paint being brought to school, color day completely led to a mixture of contradicting views from students and teachers.
An overwhelming majority of students from grades ninth through twelfth all agreed they did not want the tradition of Color Day to end. Color Day has been used as a day to show class spirit for years at Glenelg High School. Ryan Davis, a twelfth grade student, stated that it “welcomed him into the Glenelg family.” When asking students from grades tenth to twelfth whether their safety has ever felt jeopardized on this day, the answer has continuously been no. When the question was proposed to students grades tenth through twelfth, have you ever been tagged or seen someone been tagged, I received answers from almost everyone along the lines of that they had gotten tagged before but never had felt it was in a harassing, threatening, or menacing way. Brittany Anderson, a twelfth grade student, said that “It was exhilarating. It was a rush of an experience and it contributed to how I view Glenelg.” When asking Evan Williams, a ninth grade student, whether he was nervous or not about this upcoming event on October nineteenth, he stated that he was “A little nervous, the idea of being painted as a freshman is scary.” Although, paint has been banned this year and has been made clear that administration will not tolerate any of it being brought to school or worn. The other four freshmen interviewed all seemed more excited then afraid for color day.
Although this day is so important to students, the concept of Color Day is wavering in between dangerous and fun to the staff of Glenelg. When interviewing teachers including Mrs. Currie-Scott, Mrs Chawket, and Mrs. Ohanian, two out of the three members stated that they had never seen a student be tagged, harassed, or hurt on Color Day, but have heard stories from other teachers about incidents previously. Mrs. Ohanian discussed how there have been times where Color Day has been a disruption to her English class due to “students in the classroom with paint that has spilled and students that have been tagged when I have not been in the room yet. I think the tagging that has occurred is not always welcome [for certain students], and I've seen students that have been tagged that are upset and that is a disruption regardless of where it is in the building.” The paint is a problem for custodians as well due to the mess it creates all over the school. Most teachers were in agreement that the tradition should continue. Mrs. Currie-Scott discussed how it should continue because it is a tradition and important to the students, but a shift should occur to make the day less structured around grade unity and division versus school wide unity. Hallie Koele, a tenth grade student, states that color day is “So much fun because I feel apart of a big school and I get to represent the fall sport I play.” The feeling of unity that students experience during this day is something monumental in the quintessential high school experience. Most of the answers revolved around the idea that if the students behaved in a more adult manner and handled themselves more maturely during the event, then the school would not have been put in the position to question the safety of its students on Color Day.
Overall, the students should never feel unsafe during a day intended to be fun and filled with activities. The school should feel a sense of cohesive unity on this day and feel like a member of the Glenelg community. This day is a crucial and memorable way to many students and should be a positive experience for all. In order for these fun events and traditions to continue, students must handle themselves in a respectful way that reflects Glenelg in a positive light.